23 Jun '15, 1pm

Runner With Parkinson's Disease Qualifies for Boston Marathon

The finish line of The Great Run marathon was meters away. Michael Westphal, a 58-year-old carpenter, had run an almost perfect race. The sunny, 70-degree day through his hometown of Cranberry Island, Maine, had played in his favor. For the first 10 miles, he nailed his goal pace, clocking 8:05-minute miles alongside his son, Brandon. He quickened his stride over the next 10 miles when his friend, Gary Allen , and his brother, Rolf Westphal, joined him. At the 20-mile mark, he hit “the wall” but resolved to press onward. Once he reached the final straightaway—a flat stretch of pavement lined with spectators and vibrantly colored flags flapping in the breeze—Westphal stumbled to the ground, however. Westphal wasn’t just fighting to finish the marathon on Saturday, his first attempt at the distance in more than 20 years. He was also battling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. ...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/general-interest/runner-with-...

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